Hot List: Day 23 of the Legislature


The Lead:

Gov. Rick Perry gave his State of the State address on Tuesday, which followed the usual trend: Perry claimed credit for the health of the Texas economy and outlined a plan to maintain the status quo. The Senate Finance Committee will meet today to discuss health and human services. The meeting should be interesting given Perry’s strong denunciation of Medicaid expansion in yesterday’s speech. The House will meet too, but we’re not expecting much until committees are named, hopefully in the next few days.

Yesterday’s Headlines:

1. Gov. Rick Perry gave his State of the State speech yesterday, emphasizing specific conservative policy items such as school vouchers, tax cuts and shunning Medicaid expansion. Perry largely steered clear of social issues, reports the Observer’s Olivia Messer.

2. In his speech, Perry supported the UT System expanding Permanent University Funds to South Texas institutions. If passed by the Legislature, the money could be integral in establishing a medical school in the underserved region, according to the Texas Tribune.

3. The Dallas Morning News wrote about a news conference in which people who have lost a family member who had been texting while driving spoke. The families are supporting legislation that would ban texting while driving.

Line of the Day:

Texas will not drive millions more into an unsustainable system, a system that will drive this state into bankruptcy.” —Gov. Rick Perry on Medicaid during yesterday’s State of the State.

What We’re Watching Today:

1. The Senate Finance Committee will discuss health and human services today. Medicaid expansion may be up for discussion. In his speech,  Perry made clear his opposition to expanding Medicaid under Obamacare to adults earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That would cause the state to lose out on a pretty sweet deal—for the first three years the federal government would cover most of the costs.